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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Trial flight of Taiwan's anti-submarine aircraft goes smoothly

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/01 21:47:41

Taipei, Aug. 1 (CNA) The first in a batch of submarine-hunting aircraft for Taiwan has recently successfully completed its trial flight, according to the U.S.-based defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin recently publicized a photo on its website, which showed the P-3C Orion aircraft successfully completing its first functional trial flight in late July. The company is under a contract to refurbish 12 P-3Cs for Taiwan's Navy.

In 2007, the U.S. government approved the sale of the P-3Cs with T-56 turboprop engines, and other associated equipment and services at an estimated cost of US$1.96 billion.

The P-3C, the most capable Orion version, has advanced submarine detection capability.

Taiwan will obtain six P-3Cs next year, another five in 2014 and one in 2015, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The military is building a hangar at the Pingtung air force base in southern Taiwan, where the advanced aircraft will be kept.

(By Elaine Hou)

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